Dutch anti-Islam MP addresses New York mosque rally

11th September 2010, Comments 9 comments

Dutch anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders told thousands of people protesting against plans to build a mosque near Ground Zero on Saturday that it was time to take a stand.

"This is where we have draw the line," Wilders said before some 2,000 people fiercely opposing a Muslim organization's plans to build an Islamic cultural center close to the site where the World Trade Center once stood.

"America, New York, and Sharia are incompatible. New York stands for freedom," he told the crowd.

"That is why we are here today to draw a line today on this sacred spot. We are here in the spirit of America's founding fathers, we are here in the spirit today in the spirit of freedom."

"We must never give a free hand to those who want to subjugate us," Wilders added. "Draw this line so that New York... will never become New Mecca."

The firebrand Dutch politician, who calls Islam fascist and wants to stop Muslim immigration and the building of new mosques, walked out of talks earlier this month to form a rightist coalition government in The Netherlands.

He has been under 24-hour protection since 2004, after receiving death threats for his radical beliefs.

Wilders appeared at the New York rally as the city marked the ninth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks in which the World Trade Center was destroyed by Al-Qaeda militants riding hijacked planes.

He was joined at the protest by former US ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, as well as ultra-conservative radio chat show host Mike Gallagher.

Earlier a rally in support of the mosque project drew about 1,500 people. A tight police presence kept the two groups apart, though tensions were high with fierce arguments breaking out on the sidewalks.

© 2010 AFP

9 Comments To This Article

  • Ken Regan posted:

    on 15th September 2010, 23:49:56 - Reply

    The international free world should support Geert WILDERS and also critically question where the money trail comes from to build this "mosque" in such a controversial and sacred place to the western world democracy!!!
  • Ron posted:

    on 15th September 2010, 21:28:42 - Reply

    Geert Wilders knows the truth about radical islamists.Those psychotic creatures are a very real threat to our Western civilization, and we must oppose them with all our strength.
    Wake up, people!
  • Taksumo posted:

    on 15th September 2010, 15:09:46 - Reply

    I think James has said it all, besides what can we do if two million people are not heared in this so called democracy. With that many people civil war comes to mind, and we all know how that ended in America..or any other country for that matter.
  • James posted:

    on 15th September 2010, 14:34:00 - Reply

    This debate is fairly retarded so far. Let's try and make things clear.
    1) Freedom of speech means freedom to say things that people don't like. Trying to censor Wilders, or anyone else, is anti-democratic. Intelligent people understand this.
    2) 'Hate-Speech' is a very strong term, and not an expression to be used lightly, or used against anyone whose opinions you disagree with.
    3) It is perfectly valid to exercise freedom of speech to oppose the building of a mosque, just as it is to oppose the buiding of a supermarket or a power station.
    4) It is generally a good policy to ignore or discount the opinions of those who try to suppress debate by demonising the speaker or calling for the speaker to be banned or censored.
    5) Gene Wilder made some very funny films in the 70s and 80s and I am sad that he is being attacked on this forum :)
  • tuliper posted:

    on 15th September 2010, 13:54:48 - Reply

    Dear Dutch again, I don't get you people as your the same people who bitched every single American out for voting for bush and now you got yourselves a guy who is just like him and now your tolerant and acceptable. Who do you think hired and paid for Wilders in New York, your taxpayers or Americans. Maybe a private group who aligns themselves with republican ideals. THINK PAL THINK!
  • tuliper posted:

    on 15th September 2010, 13:46:27 - Reply

    Dear Dutch, Governments have a moral and legal responsibility to effective governing and not waste tax payer euros on deciding if hate speech is allowed based on democracy. His "good" is quite overshadowed by his outrageous views towards those living in the Netherlands and worldwide and I am sure the voters could muster up more moderate and experienced representatives than this oblivious crackpot.
  • tuliper posted:

    on 15th September 2010, 13:36:11 - Reply

    The Dutch Government should really consider blocking Wilders from participating in any Governmental meeting, he seems to represent The Netherlands with his worldwide crusade of Hate speech towards muslims that make up part of the tax paying citizens of Holland and I feel by sitting back and alllowing his hate message creates a view of Europe that there is festering intolerance of those who are not of Dutch race. If I was in Government I sure as heck wouldn't want that kind of representation of my country spreading hate speech. It's unnecessary and truly spells racism to the Dutch.
  • dutch posted:

    on 15th September 2010, 13:01:42 - Reply

    Dear Tuliper,
    Although i myself am not a fan of mr Wilders, we also have a law that means "Freedom of Speech". I am almost certain the USA has the same. This also entails that you cannot contain it, you can however choose not to listen (which i recommend to you). Although on many points i agree with you, mr Wilders his believes (its Geert btw, not Gene) are quite strong, he also adresses several other issues in our country. In the Netherlands we choose our government by votes every 4 year, and he was one of the people that were chosen. I believe it is a bit shortsighted that although he has a side that doesnt appeal to me either, to write him down completely. Our people voted for him and his party because he has some good points that will help our country, a man is more then one ideology, and for such, he should not be " kicked out the government", as we want a democracy and not a dictatorship.
  • tuliper posted:

    on 15th September 2010, 12:32:45 - Reply

    Gene Wilder's hate speech was obviously praised by the neocon right wing republicans who sadly Gene falls into this group. He took advantage of a tragedy for his own hatred of arabs and the muslim moderates that America needs on their side which is what the mosque owners are. We need them in the USA to bridge peaceful solutions also Wilder's may not realize in the USA there is a constitution and the 1st amendment of that constitution is freedom of religion, It's truly despicable on Wilder's part to use the 911 issue to profess his hatred of muslims. I Wikipedia-ed Gene W. and found out what close ties he has to Israel. Could that be one of the reasons he chooses muslims as his main source of hatred? The Netherlands Government really needs to contain such abominable beings also kick him out of any future government meetings as he doesn't seem fit to be in government. He is way too extreme for The Netherlands. He builds walls and never bridges. Very sad to see.